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We have leaves!

My eco printing project has been a bit slow through the winter as despite having frozen some leaves for the winter I found that I quickly used up my small stock with my experiments and have been waiting for a new supply of leaves!

Don't get me wrong: I have been using my time researching through reading, watching you tube videos, I have attended online courses and have been rapidly growing my knowledge about the different methods of eco printing and comparing the most sustainable practices.

Thankfully Spring has arrived on the Isle of Arran(though it has been incredibly wet and cold) and everything is turning green.

Banks of wild garlic in the woodland, new leaves on the trees, delicate blossoms bursting through and vibrant flowers brightening our hedgerows.

I have been collecting lots of leaves and experimenting with the eco printing process, but have made a few discoveries:

  1. In the eco pot (using an aluminium pot as mordant) it seems that old leaves make the better prints (the tannins from the leaves providing much stronger prints). Here's an example comparing bramble leaves: the plants currently are holding on to some of last years leaves while new leaves break through. I collected some old and new leaves: on the felt you can see the old leaves on the left and the new leaves on the right. The stronger clearer prints are forged by the older leaves (although the newer leaves have been in contact with the copper core which has given almost a resist print which is interesting)

I have tried this same experiment on some different leaves - sometimes using some of my frozen leaves collected last autumn and each time the older leaf gives a stronger print than the newer leaves. So further experiments as we go through the season to identify at what stage the leaves start to give stronger prints are on my list.

2. Without the use of eucalyptus (which I am trying to avoid as it is not a native species to Arran, nor prolific) the main colours achieved from eco printing in the pot is predominantly purple and gold. These colours can be striking and work well together, but it is disappointing having collected such vibrant green leaves that sum up Spring foliage, to find that I am not capturing the spring greens in any way.

But I have a plan to adopt a different eco printing technique to address this and I will share that process and my results in my next blog! I am very excited about the results that I have been achieving with this different method and cant wait to show you!!

Meanwhile the pot is bubbling away in my studio!

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